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Get real-time updates and make changes on every printer in your system from one place.

Note

You might not see all the options for managing printers in your Control Center > Printers page because of insufficient user rights.

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Check the permissions with Control Center administrator in Users > Access Roles.

Add your printers to Control Center to centrally manage your printing system from your browser for improved efficiency and reduced maintenance time. Printer Management helps you keep your local production lines running smoothly by installing and managing printers in local domains without having to consult your global IT manager. Install printers you add on your computers with the correct NiceLabel printer drivers to choose printing preferences, monitor your printing system, manage updates, organize printers with profiles, and assign access and permissions with printer groups.

Note

You can centrally manage Network printers connected to computers via TCP/IP (RAW or LPR/LPD) or network ports with Printer Management.

For more information, read the "Printer" definition in the Printer vocabulary list on Printers.

Add and install new printers or import your existing installed printers before you can manage them from Control Center.

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Go to Printers > Printers to see your list of added centrally-managed printers and sort your printer information.

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Click on printer names to view and update printer information, printer settings (including printer preferences), status, and print queues.

Monitor and update all your centrally-managed printers from Control Center to reduce downtime and prevent problems.

Adding printers

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Add your printers to Control Center before you install them on your computers. You can manually add TCP/IP printers, or automatically find printers in your system and choose which printers to add.

Adding printers manually (TCP/IP)

TCP/IP printers provide a raw TCP port for your printing data. Most printer manufacturers use port 9100.

Note

We recommend using advanced port monitor and TCP/IP(RAW) printing protocol when supported by your printer.

  1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Printers and click Add.

  2. From the dropdown menu, choose Manually add TCP/IP printer. The Manually add TCP/IP printer window opens.

    CC2021_PM_Add_TCP_IP_Printer.png
  3. Type your printer information and click Add.

  4. (Optional) To add LPR printers:

    CC2021_PM_Add_LPR.png
    1. Click Show advanced connection properties.

    2. For Port Monitor, choose Standard TCP/IP Port.

    3. For Printing protocol, choose LPR. The LPR queue name field appears.

    4. Type in your LPR queue name.

    5. Click Add.

Your new TCP/IP printer appears in your list of centrally managed printers. Now you can install your added printer on your computers.

Adding printers automatically with Import Printers

Find existing printers connected to computers in your system to add to Control Center.

  1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Printers and click Add.

  2. From the dropdown menu, choose Search for printers in my environment. The Import Printers window opens.

    CC2021_PM_Import_Printers.png
  3. In Select Printers, from the dropdown menu, choose your computer to see printers from that computer. Use Filters (on your right) to narrow your selection and find printers to add.

    CC2021_PM_Choose_Computers.png
  4. Select printer(s) to add, and click Next.

  5. In Modify Printer Settings, select your printers to apply settings:

    CC2021_PM_Import_Modify_Settings.png
    1. Click Set group to add your printers to an existing printer group from the drop-down menu.

      Read more about printer groups: Groups.

    2. Click Set preferred driver package to connect your printers with an uploaded driver package from the drop-down menu. Setting a preferred driver package to use this driver package to control printing preferences and future installations on other computers.

      If your preferred NiceLabel drivers are version 10 or newer, you can update printing preferences directly in Control Center. If you choose to use older preferred driver versions, you may not be able to change your printing preferences directly in Control Center without DEVMODE.

      Read more about drivers: Driver Packages.

      Note

      Your selected printers must be from the same manufacturer to set shared drivers. You can't connect printer drivers with printers from different manufacturers.

  6. Click Finish to add your printers.

Importing printers from Excel

You can enter a list of your printers in a predefined Excel template and then import the Excel file in Control Center. This way you simplify entering each printer's data individually.

You can also use the Excel table if you don't have user rights to install printers in Control Center. You can send the Excel file to the Control Center administrator who can import the Excel file and install printers.

Your Excel file contains the following printer data:

  • Printer name

  • IP address

  • Port number

  • Port monitor type

  • Group

  • Manufacturer

  • Printer model

  • Driver package

To generate the Excel file and import printer data:

  1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Printers and click Add.

  2. From the drop-down menu, choose Import from Excel. The Excel Import window opens.

    12_Excel01.png
  3. Click the Download button. The Excel template Printers-import.xlsx saves to your local disc. The Excel file already contains data about your existing driver packages, groups, and port monitors.

  4. Open the downloaded Printers-import.xlsx and go to Printers sheet. Enter your printers' data into green columns (Printer name, Description,...). Copy the values from other sheets in blue columns (Port Monitor, Group,...)

    13_Excel02.png

    Warning

    Printers-import.xlsx compares the data in the Printers sheet (blue columns) to data in other sheets. If data don't match, the Package check column shows an error.

    You can't insert driver packages data that is not stored in Control Center.

    Warning

    If you later add additional printers with Excel, create a new Excel file with only new printer data. Control Center will not import an Excel file with the existing printers.

  5. Upload your Excel file to Control Center and click Next: Modify Printer Settings.

  6. In this step, you can change groups or preferred driver packages for selected printers.

    (You can also change these properties later in Control Center.)

    Note

    If you get errors, you can modify your data by clicking to the field where error occurs.

    14_excel03.png
    16_excel04.png

    You can't delete the whole printer record.

  7. Click Finish to add your printers.

Your installed printers are imported and appear in your list of printers. Now you can manage printing preferences for your printer or install your printers on other computers.

Installing printers

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Install your added printers on computers in your system with uploaded driver packages before you can centrally manage your printing preferences, see printer statuses, and manage print queues from Control Center.

  • Before you install printers, connect your computers to Control Center. Read more in Computers.

  • Before you install printers, upload your driver packages to Control Center. Read more in Driver Packages.

An installed printer is a printer connected to a computer with a driver through an installation process. You start the process by installing a printer driver on a computer and using it to create a print queue. When you browse "installed" printers in your Windows Control Panel, you aren't actually viewing printers, you're viewing the print queues your drivers create on your computer during the installation process. You can manage this process centrally for your computers, printers, and driver packages in Control Center.

  1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Printers and click Install Printers. The Install Printers window opens.

    Note

    If you can't click Install Printers you may need installation rights for this printer, or the printer may be shared.

    CC2021_PM_Install_Printers.png
  2. Select which printers to install and click Next. If you don't see your printer, click Refresh to update your list of available printers.

    Note

    You can't install printers without NiceLabel printer drivers. Read more about drivers: Driver Packages.

  3. Choose computers to install your printers on and click Next.

    Note

    You can install printers on offline computers marked "Ready when online". Installation begins when these computers come back online.

    Note

    You can't install printers on computers using older versions of Designer, for example V2019 or V2017. Such computers are greyed out in the list of computers.

    CC2021_PM_Install_Printers_Choose_Computers.png
  4. Review or update your printer queue and port configurations, and click Next.

    Note

    You may not be able to edit some printer queue names.

    CC2021_PM_Install_Printers_Queue_and_Port.png
  5. Select a printer driver package for each printer family from your uploaded drivers and click Next. Toggle + and - (on your left) to see more details and the effects your installation may have on your system.

    CC2021_PM_Install_Printers_Driver_Packages.png

    Note

    Using different driver versions for the same printer families may produce conflicts.

    When you select your driver package, your printer Status updates. Check your status before you install your printer:

    1. Installs new printer. No side effects.

    2. Updates printer driver. Requires print spooler restart. Interrupts printing in progress.

    3. Updates printer driver. Update also affects this unselected print queue.

    4. This printer uses a different preferred driver package. Installing this driver package may affect printing preferences and print queues or cause errors.

  6. Review your settings and choose whether to allow your installation to restart printer spoolers. Choosing Yes may affect current print jobs in your queue. If turned off, changes take effect after your computer restarts.

    CC2021_PM_Install_Printers_Review.png
  7. Click Install now to install your printers on your computers with your drivers.

Your printer installation begins. You can see your installation status in Printers > Overview > Provisioning Operations. For more information, read Provisioning Operations.

Managing Printing Preferences

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Printing preferences are the instructions that tell each printer how to print labels. Printing preferences include settings for printing media like media size, media type, and rotation. Printing preferences may also include more printing settings (like speed and darkness) depending on your printer model.

With Printer Management, you can update printing preferences for all your installed printers instantly in Control Center. When your printer operators want to update settings, they don't need access to computers or any additional system permissions to change printing preferences. You can give printer operators permission to edit printing preferences for specific printers, computers, driver packages, or printer profiles in Control Center. When your printer operators log in to Control Center and update printing preferences for their printers, the changes take place immediately and reduce printing downtime.

To manage printing preferences, go to Printers > Printers and click on a Printer name to update. The Printer page opens:

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Use the tabs (on your top left) to update your printer settings, then click Save all to apply your updates:

  • Summary: view and update general printer information.

    • Under Printer information, edit the fields to update your Printer name, Description, Group, and Preferred driver for this printer to use for setting printing preferences and future installations.

      If your preferred NiceLabel drivers are version 10 or newer, you can update printing preferences directly in Control Center. If you choose to use older preferred driver versions, you may not be able to change your printing preferences directly in Control Center without DEVMODE.

    • Click the link under Installed on to view computers with print queues for this printer.

    • Under License, check if your printer is licensed and/or reserved. For more information, read Licensed Printers.

  • Settings: choose how to manage printing preferences for your printer.

    • Toggle Centralized settings to save your centrally-managed printing preferences in Control Center or locally on your printer or label.

      Now, when you print on centrally managed printers from Control Center, you can instruct your printer to use printing preferences stored in Control Center. If you still have printing preferences stored in your label or locally on the computer that sends the print command, you now have the option to override those preferences and apply the preferences stored in Control Center instead.

    • Use shared settings profile. Applies settings from the shared printer profile you choose from the drop-down list to your printer. For more information, read Profiles.

    • Use printer-specific preferences. Configure printing preferences like print speed, darkness, offsets, and more for your printer directly in Control Center. Available settings depend on your printer model and printer driver version. Some driver versions require adding printing preferences with DEVMODE.

      Set your preferred printer driver to the latest version to use printer-specific preferences.

  • Status: view your current printer status including availability and errors.

  • Print queues: view queues statuses and pause, resume, clear, and delete print queues for your printer.

Managing your printers centrally in Control Center helps you install, monitor, and update your printers and settings from one place.

Managing Printing Preferences with DEVMODE

Note

To centrally manage your printing preferences directly in Control Center with a GUI, use NiceLabel printer drivers version 10 or newer.

Older printer driver versions have no GUI support in Control Center, but you can still import and share printing preferences for your printers by downloading the Get Printer Settings utility for free from our NiceLabel utilities page. This method allows you to set your printing preferences directly on your NiceLabel printer driver installed on your computer, copy these settings with Get Printer Settings, and paste your preferences into Control Center. When you paste your preferences into Control Center, you can apply them to specific printers or printer profiles to share on multiple models of the same printer.

Get Printer Settings is a simple utility for extracting printer settings from WIndows for printers you select and saving those settings to file or providing settings in the GUI. This structure is called DEVMODE. DEVMODE is a binary data structure that includes all settings available in the printer driver. For more information, read ???.

Control Center applies your stored printing preferences in DEVMODE at print time. When computers send print commands to centrally managed printers, Control Center replaces the printing preferences computers send with print their commands with the DEVMODE printing preferences stored in Control Center. You can edit printing preferences directly in Control Center with a GUI editor if you use NiceLabel version 10 printer drivers or newer. Older printer drivers require raw DEVMODE strings.

To use printer-specific preferences with older NiceLabel printer driver versions:

  1. If you want to install new printers, add your preferred version of the printer driver package you want to use for setting printing preferences to Control Center. If you're not installing new printers, you can add DEVMODE printing preference strings without uploading driver packages or setting a preferred driver.

    To avoid potential printing errors, make sure the driver package version you upload matches the driver package you have downloaded on your computer where your printer is installed. This is the printer driver you use to generate DEVMODE strings.

    We recommend updating the driver on your computer with the latest version of your printer driver from our driver downloads page and uploading the same version to Control Center to set as your preferred driver. You use your preferred driver to install and manage preferences for multiple printers of the same model in your environment.

  2. On the computer where your printer is installed with your NiceLabel printer driver, go to Windows > Settings > Printers & scanners.

    1. Select the printer you want to update and click Manage.

      CC10_PM_PP_WIndows_Printer_Select.png
    2. The printer page opens. Click Printing preferences.

      CC10_PM_PP_WIndows_Printer_Select_Preferences.png
  3. The Printing Preferences page opens for your NiceLabel printer driver. Use the tabs on your left to navigate and update your preferences for this printer. The preferences you will choose act as a template for other printers in Control Center.

    Note

    Available printer preferences depend on your printer driver version.

    Click OK to save your updated printing preferences.

    CC10_PM_PP_WIndows_Printer_Printing_Preferences.png
  4. Download the free GetPrinterSettings utility .zip package from https://www.nicelabel.com/downloads/utilities.

    1. Extract and run GetPrinterSettings.exe. The Get Printer Settings window opens.

      CC10_PM_PP_Get_Printer_Settings_Open.png
    2. Select your printer from the dropdown list.

      CC10_PM_PP_Get_Printer_Settings_Select_Printer.png
    3. Click Get Printer Settings to generate your DEVMODE text string of saved printing preferences. Click Copy to Clipboard to copy your string.

      CC10_PM_PP_Get_Printer_Settings_Copy_Settings.png
  5. In Control Center, go to Printers > Printers and click the Printer name of the printer to update. The Printer page opens.

  6. Under Printer Information > Preferred driver, choose your uploaded driver version as your preferred driver from the dropdown list.

  7. Open the Settings tab.

    CC10_PM_PP_Add_DevMode.png
    1. Activate Centralized settings.

    2. Select Use printer specific preferences.

    3. Under Printing preferences (DevMode), paste your DEVMODE string.

    4. Click Save all.

Your printing preferences from your printer driver are saved in Control Center.

Using DEVMODE Printing Preferences in Profiles

Use the same process to add DEVMODE strings of saved printing preferences to new printer profiles. Apply your saved DEVMODE printing preferences to multiple printers of the same model in your environment by adding your printers to the profiles you create.

Create your profile following the instructions on Profiles:

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  1. Add your Printer Information.

  2. Use GetPrinterSettings to paste the Printing preferences from your printer driver on your computer as a DEVMODE string.

  3. Click Save to create your profile.

Your printing preferences are saved in your new printer profile. You can now add printers of the same make and model to this profile to apply your printing preferences when you print. For more information, read Profiles.

Environment

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Your printing Environment page gives you a detailed view of your centrally managed printers so you can understand your overall printing system, ensure consistent printing results from different printers, and minimize the chance of downtime.

Use your printing Environment page to:

  • Consolidate drivers you use across your system.

  • Know which driver to install before beginning installation.

  • Upgrade multiple printers at once.

Go to Control Center > Printers > Overview to see an overview of Your Environment.

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Your Environment shows the number of Printers, Computers, Profiles, and Driver Packages in your system. Click the links to go to the associated pages.

Click Details to open your Environment page.

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Your Environment page shows a list of your centrally managed printers installed on connected computers. Each row represents one installed print queue.

Drag and drop column headers to group by one or more columns and refine your view. Columns include:

  • Printer manufacturer

  • Driver provider

  • Printer model

  • Printer

  • Computer

  • Print queue name

  • Printer type

  • Address

  • Print queue driver version

  • Driver package (Driver version)

  • Printer preferred driver package (Driver name)

Use the Environments page to get more information about your entire printing system and to avoid errors while maintaining, updating, and installing printers and printer drivers.

Consolidating printer drivers

Using different printer drivers in your printing environment may cause inconsistencies in your printing output. Use the Environment page to identify different driver versions on printers in your system so you can consolidate them into a single driver version for consistent printing results.

To consolidate your printer drivers:

  1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Overview > Environment.

  2. On your list, drag and drop the Printer model column header to group by printer model.

    CC2021_Environment_Consolidating_Printers.png
  3. Under Print queue driver version, look for computers running outdated driver versions. Update the older printer driver so all your labels print consistently on all printers.

    CC2021_Environment_Consolidating_Printers_Drivers.png
  4. To update your driver, install your printer on any computers running outdated versions using the Install Printers wizard.

    1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Printers and click Install Printers. The Install Printers window opens.

    2. Select your printer with outdated printer drivers.

    3. Select computers using outdated printer drivers.

    4. For your Driver Package, select the newest driver package version. You see alerts that your drivers will update.

      CC2021_Environment_Consolidating_Printers_Wizard.png
    5. Install your printers with your upgraded driver package.

When your installation completes, all your printer driver packages are consolidated on printers of the same model in your environment.

Tip

You can also upgrade all your printers using the same driver package by replacing your driver package. Go to Printers > Printers > Driver packages, select a driver package, and click Replace driver package. Read Driver Packages for more information.

Be certain when installing new printers

Installing new printers on multiple computers with other printers already installed can cause unintended effects. Installing a new print queue version updates all the print queues using that printer driver. Use the Environment page to know which driver package version to use for installation.

Note

Whenever possible, use 1 printer driver provider and 1 driver package version for all printers of the same printer family.

For example:

  • All Zebra printers in your environment use NiceLabel version 10 printer drivers.

  • All Sato printers in your environment use NiceLabel version 8 printer drivers.

  1. Go to Control Center > Printers > Overview > Environment.

  2. On your list, drag and drop the Printer manufacturer and Computer name column headers to group by those columns.

    CC2021_PM_Environment_Certaint.png
  3. Under Print queue driver version, look for computers running different driver package versions on different computers for the same printers. You can:

    • Install a new printer for both printers. Depending on which printer driver version you choose, you also update other print queues on one or both computers.

    • Run the Install Printers wizard twice for each computer. Select the driver version that is already installed. No drivers update in this scenario.

Note

You can only install new printers with NiceLabel printer drivers. Installing new printers doesn't affect printers using drivers from other providers.

Provisioning Operations

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Review all your centrally-managed printer and driver updates, installations, and removals, all in one place.

Provisioning Operations are tasks you assign from Control Center that execute on connected computers in your system. Installing printers, updating drivers, or removing print queues creates a new entry in your log of pending, ongoing, and completed Provisioning Operations in Control Center. Use your list of provisioning operations to see the status of your operations, view scheduled operations, and review operations with errors. Provisioning helps you maintain your centrally managed printing system and plan future updates.

Note

Provisioning operations do not appear in History. Provisioning operations remain on your Provisioning Operations page for 30 days after creation, then they delete automatically.

Example 16. How provisioning helps

Installing and updating drivers in enterprise environments can be difficult to coordinate and schedule. To avoid shutting down production just to install updates, printer drivers are not always kept up to date on every computer. A lack of coordination can result in you running different versions of the same driver on different computers, leaving your printing process prone to downtime, errors, and printing inconsistencies across your system.

With centralized provisioning operation management, you can immediately see what updates, installations, and removals you have scheduled, the status of completed operations, and whether they were successful or had errors. Use this information to better understand your daily operations in multiple locations and schedule routine updates across your entire printing system.


Go to Control Center > Printers > Overview to see your most recent provisioning operations:

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Click on Provisioning Operations to open your list page of all provisioning operations in your system:

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Your detailed list includes provisioning Operation name, Date created, Status (Finished or Error), and the number of Printers, Computers, and Driver packages each operation affects.

Note

If your provisioning operation fails, you can see the cause listed in Control Center. if you need more information, consult the log on your connected computer.

Click an Operation name to open the Operation page and see more information including Computer, Status, and Details:

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Toggle + and - next to individual computers to see Printers affected, Progress, whether the printer is Installed (Yes or No), and Details of all executions of your selected operation.

Provisioning operations in Control Center help you see your centrally-managed updates and installations, diagnose problems, and maintain your global printing system.